Many Imolites have expressed their opinions about the Imo Chatter of equity
since our Governor; His Excellency Senator Hope Uzodimma announced to the Imo people that he would hand over the governorship of Imo State to an Owerri
zone person. Many have seen that as a welcome development while many doubtthe possibility of doing that since Imo is not running a one-party-State.

I have not believed in zoning as a way of distributing governorship position in Imo State. So, I do not support it as it brings mediocre in governance. As a citizen of Imo State who has served Nigeria and Imo State in different positions of trust; Former Member, Think-tank committee of the APC National Headquarters and
the Presidency, Abuja.
Former member, Rapporteurs sub-Committee, APC National Convention Abuja,
2022Former State Chairman, All Nigerian Peoples Party ANPP, Imo State Chapter
Former Chairman, Management Committee, Imo broadcasting Corporation
Former Commissioner for Internal Resources and Pension, Imo State
Former Chairman, Pension and salaries verification Committee, Imo State
Former Commissioner for Information, Tourism and Public Utilities, Imo State
Former Member of Child Adoption Law Review Committee, Imo State
Former Chairman, Commerce and Trade development Committee, Imo State
and an entrepreneur, I am qualified to contest for the position of the Governor of
Imo State come 2027 if I decide to make up my mind, not based on any zoning

arrangement, as power is taken and not given, but based on the fact that I can
compete with any candidate from any part of Imo State. My literature here is for
those who believe in zoning arrangements who are afraid to compete with other
zones and want power to be given to them.
The syndrome that has beleaguered the Owerri zone in capturing the Douglas
house since 1999 is sure to extend beyond 2027 if the zone fails to establish a
quid pro quo with Okigwe zone. Whatever the factors taken into consideration in
the political delineation of Imo State into three zones, equity and justice are
presumable Constance. However, the variables in this equation such as greed,
segregation and ethno-centric proclivities have relegated the true essence of
In simple terms, zoning is a creation of areas of particular characteristics, purpose
or use. It is generally undertaken to enhance convenience in administration and
management. Imo State as a political entity is delineated accordingly into three
presumably equal zones namely:-
(a) Owerri zone, with nine local Government Areas
(b) Okigwe Zone, with six local Government Areas
(c) Orlu Zone, with twelve local Government Areas.
The twenty seven local government Areas of the State are distributed among these
three zones in the ratio of 9:6:12 respectively. Though I have made a significant
effort not to introduce the mathematical lopsidedness equation in favour of Orlu as
an issue in this discussion, I must not fail to commend the magnanimity with which
Owerri and Okigwe zones have considered to live with it. But what Owerri and
Okigwe zones cannot live with is the sense of arrogance and reckless abandon with
which some politicians from Orlu zone seek prerogative over total dominance over
the rest of Imo State. This demonstrated position of the people of Orlu zone to
exploit the imbalance of power and resources inherent in the present political
structure of the State to disenfranchise the rest of Imo State, must be neutralized.
SINCE 1999
The present civilian democratic order in Nigeria was ushered in some twenty five
years ago. In this period, Orlu Zone took the first slot through Governor Achike
Udenwa made possible by the political leadership of Owerri Zone who overturned
the victory of Owerri Zone candidate during the PDP primary election to favour
Achike Udenwe of Orlu zone thereby giving Orlu zone, the first slot in the new
political dispensation. It is important to note here that, Owerri zone should have
taken the first slot, but the ‘leaders’ preferred Senate position for Mbaitoli/Ikeduru

bloc in Owerri zone to Governor, as the two candidates for Governor and Senate
came from the same bloc. In 2003, Governor Achike Udenwa took another term of
four years, thus, completing the two terms of eight years for the Orlu zone. In
2007, Dr. Ikedi Ohakim took fours for the Okigwe zone, made possible by Orlu
zone. But in 2011, Okigwe zone was denied the second term to complete their
term of eight years by some political class of Owerri zone and the Catholic
church which accused Ohakim of flogging a Rev. Father which was later to be
found to be false. Some Owerri zone political class preferred giving Orlu Zone
another term in office to abiding by the rule of equity. In the election of 2011,
even in the absence of the chatter of equity, the sense of justice, fairness and equity
required all others to abstain from the contest and allow only Okigwe zone to field
candidates for the election, but such justice did not prevail rather Owerri zone
preferred to alien with Orlu Zone. Some lousy comments by some Imo politicians
that Okigwe took four years during the time of Chief Sam Mbakwe and another
four years during the time of Chief Ikedi Ohakim should be disregarded as Sam
Mbakwe’s tenure was before the creation of Abia and Ebonyi States out of the
old Imo State and the creation of the present senatorial zoning arrangements we
now have in Imo State.
In the summary of the last twenty years, Orlu has claimed twenty years (and still
counting) of Governorship; Okigwe has taken four and Owerri, seven Months (if
we still count that). As the governorship election of 2027 looms in the horizon,
Orlu zone is once again crafting a marshal plan to further exacerbate the existing
imbalance. It must be noted here that Owerri zone has benefited by being elected
as deputy Governors for the period Orlu zone has been in Power.

  1. Engr. Ebere Udeagu from Okigwe zone was deputy to Achike Udenwa for
    eight years.
  2. Sir Jude Agbaso from Owerri zone was deputy to Rochas Okorochas for
    about two years.
  3. Chief Eze Madumere from Owerri zone was deputy to Rochas Okorocha
    from the time Sir Jude Agbaso was removed to the tail of Rochas
    Okorocha’s administration.
  4. Hon. Gerald Irona from Orlu zone was deputy to Hon. Emeka Ihedioha for
    the seven Months they were at the government house.
  5. Prof Placid Njoku from Owerri zone was deputy to Senator Hope
    Uzodimma for four years.
  6. Lady Chinyere Ekomaro from Owerri zone is currently the deputy to
    Senator Hope Uzodimma to serve till 2027. This clearly shows that Okigwe zone was kept out of the government house for
    many years for reasons yet to be told.

It is not my intention here to address the issues of political imbalance and
systematic marginalization of the rest of Imo State by Orlu Zone, but rather, to
visit the gross insensitivity and reckless impunity with which some politicians from
Orlu Zone discountenance the legitimate rights and aspirations of other members
of the trio.
= Orlu has twelve out of the twenty seven local Government Areas of the State
= Orlu receives twelve portions out of the twenty seven portions from the
federation account for the local Government.
= Orlu has twelve out of the twenty seven members of the Imo State house of
Assembly, only a shade from the total control of the legislative assembly.
= Orlu controls top State and Federal Government appointments.
= Orlu exploits its large share of local government areas to secure election for
Governor of Imo State.
In view of the above imbalance, Orlu zone will effortlessly perpetuate the endless
dominance of the political space of Imo State unless the marginalized zones i.e.
Owerri and Okigwe come together in an alliance.
In this trio of co-equal zones, Owerri zone is the goose that lays the eggs. Okigwe
zone is the chef who makes the omelet and serves the Orlu Zone the sumptuous
breakfast of omelet. This illustration aptly depicts the political reality of Imo State,
past, present and the future. But when push came to shove, the oppressed, in
George Orwell’s Animal farm, formed an alliance and effectively checked the
oppressors. 2027 is the test of the resolve of the Owerri zone, to break this spell,
and steps must be taken today for closer ties with Okigwe Zone.
= Owerri zone has played a perfect host to the Imo State seat of power since its
= Owerri zone has graciously conceded land for development and for the good of
= Owerri zone arguably has the largest human population and land mass in the
= Owerri zone’s Ngor Okpuala, Ahiazu, Mbaitoli and Ikeduru could combine for
additional eight local Government areas in the State.

Owerri zone parades a stunning array of notable, most tested male and female
politicians across the various political Parties,
= Owerri zone’s shall present the most credible aspirants for governor in 2027;
But this may NEVER happen without a strong and binding alliance with Okigwe
zone. No matter the profile of the candidates who may eventually emerge from
Owerri zone from the registered political Parties; no matter their financial
readiness and political contacts, there must be a clearly crafted quid pro quo
agreement with Okigwe zone for the Owerri Zone aspiration to be achieved.
The possibility of Owerri zone producing the governor of Imo State come 2027
will depend on the alliance between Owerri and Okigwe zones. But this
opportunity is slim, as Okigwe ZONE people are not happy with Owerri ZONE
People for denying them the opportunity to complete their two terms of eight years
as Orlu zone did and have said it in clear terms, that they would not support any
governorship candidate from Owerri zone UNLESS Owerri zone supports them
come 2027 to complete their term of another four years and in turn, they will
support Owerri zone. If this will be accepted by the Owerri zone, the person to
emerge from Okigwe zone must sign an undertaking with the rest of the Imo
Zones of Orlu and Owerri to do only one term as a governor and to support
Owerri zone to produce the next governor thereafter.
The circumstances that gave rise to Dr. Ikedi Ohakim (Okigwe Zone) election as
governor of Imo State in 2007 were rather bizarre and unpredictable and not a
product of the voting strength of a zone of 6 local government areas. It could be
described as an act of God, so as, to give Okigwe zone a sense of belonging in Imo
politics which should have been allowed to have the same share of two terms of
eight years as Orlu zone got; then the ball moves to Owerri in 2015. If Owerri zone
claims that it supported Orlu zone against Ikedi Ohakim in 2015, what of other
candidates from Okigwe zone like Chief Ifeanyi Araraume and Chief A.B.C
Lemchi who contested same election? The ticket that gave Orlu zone another
opportunity to produce a governor for Imo State in 2011 was made possible by
men from Owerri zone and supported by a large number of the political class of
Owerri zone against Okigwe zone. If I may ask; can you eat your cake and have it?
And if Okigwe zone people will dare to dream of producing the governor of Imo
State come 2027 or any time in future, they cannot repose their hopes on the repeat
of the circumstances of 2007. Similarly, Owerri zone of nine local government

areas CANNOT rely on chance or the unlikely fair disposition of Orlu zone to
produce the next governor of Imo State. I advise that, Owerri zone leaders should
meet with the Okigwe zone leaders and apologize to them for the actions taken by
few political leaders from Owerri zone in 2011which denied Okigwe zone the
chance of completing their 8 year term and thereby seek for their genuine support.
This point is made to underscore the mutual political and empowerment benefits
available to the people of Owerri and Okigwe zones under a new alliance of
political co-operation and collaboration. Mathematically, Owerri zone’s nine Local
Government Areas plus Okigwe zone’s six Local Government areas will give us
fifteen Local government areas against the twelve local government areas of Orlu
zone. This, I believe, is a perfect calculation.
Finally, I hereby urge all leaders of thought and opinion from Owerri and Okigwe
zones at home and in Diaspora, to emulate Captain Emmanual Ihanacho who has
started a movement to bring Owerri zone and Okigwe zone together. Others should
mobilize without delay, to establish a working caucus for the formation of a
roadmap agenda and time line for this initiative to take off.

Thank You
Prof.Vitalis Orikeze Ajumbe, Fnism


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